Brewers, Cardinals weather three delays

Brewers, Cardinals weather three delays

ST. LOUIS -- For the Cardinals, Sunday's 9-8 win over the Brewers was as much about outlasting the weather as it was outlasting their opponent.

The two clubs endured a delayed start, two mid-game stoppages and saturated conditions all afternoon to wrap up the series at Busch Stadium. The weather complications, coupled with the sluggish pace set by the starters and Milwaukee's late burst of offense, led to the nine-inning game being completed more than six hours after its scheduled start.

"Not your conventional game," Stephen Piscotty quipped afterward.

The two clubs were hopeful of playing through without interruption after pushing the start time back one hour and 20 minutes, but rain returned to the area as Tyler Lyons took the mound to open the sixth with a 4-2 lead. The rain increased in intensity, but the umpiring crew, having been alerted that the particular storm cell would pass through rather quickly, opted to have the teams play on.

As they did, puddles formed across the infield, and Lyons was left going to the inside of his uniform to try and dry his hands.

"My problem is once my hands got wet and the rest of my body got wet, I had nowhere to dry my hands off," Lyons said. "I just felt like I was grabbing a wet baseball the whole time."

Nevertheless, Lyons managed to strike out the side.

The infield, however, was in such bad shape after the half-inning that it took 14 minutes for the grounds crew to recover it with fresh dirt.

"It's an easy game to stop with the rain and everything," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "They didn't make excuses or anything. They continued to battle through it."

The longer delay came in the seventh when the rain returned, this time as Matt Bowman inherited a bases-loaded mess from Trevor Rosenthal. Bowman got one out, and, from the dugout, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny waved a towel to see if the Rule 5 reliever needed something to wipe his hands on. He declined.

"I probably needed a towel, but I didn't want to disrupt the rhythm," Bowman said. "It seemed like an at-bat that needed to complete itself before I toweled off or anything."

Bowman wouldn't get the chance to. Bowman worked the count to 2-2 against Kirk Nieuwenhuis before play was halted again. That delay lasted 55 minutes, during which Bowman stayed sharp by periodically throwing in the team's indoor cage.

"It was a little difficult, but I kept myself ready," Bowman said. "It kind of felt like a bullpen where you get hot, then sit down and kind of wait until later on. I just made sure I was mentally checked in and physically loose."

Upon returning, Bowman allowed one inherited run to score, but he limited the damage there. An inning later, the rain started again with Jonathan Broxton pitching in relief. Broxton slipped at one point, but the game proceeded without an additional delay.

Bowman's great grab

"It seemed like it was always coming down hard when our guys were trying to make pitches," Matheny said. "Right there in the end, you still saw puddles all over the place. There were just some things that were really well done in tough circumstances, and the guys didn't give in to the circumstances. They just kept playing the game."

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.